Summary of 2017 Activities
2017 was an enlivened and heartening year for music at James Bay United Church (JBUC). The Sunday choir welcomed new members, the newly founded Anthem Choir prepared 5 works of special choral music, and new connections with local musicians were formed.
2017 marked the first full year of the new Anthem Choir—a group that brings together long time JBUC Sunday Choir members with community members and other congregants. In 2017, this group prepared 5 challenging anthems that were offered at special liturgical services through out the year.
Two highlights for me were Holy Week 2017 and Christmas Eve 2017. For Holy Week, the Anthem Choir worked feverishly for 6 weeks to prepare not one but two powerful, challenging works for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. On Christmas Eve, we presented a rousing, moving Christmas Sanctus. The positive responses from both of these services were overwhelming, and I am deeply proud of the work the Anthem Choir did to enrich these worship services.
Another highlight was connecting with local soprano Annalyssa Taylor and local flutist Eden Oliver. Both Annalyssa and Eden joined the Anthem Choir for performances in 2017—Annalyssa as a guest soloist and Eden as an accompanying instrumentalist. Their musicianship was such a tremendous gift and blessing. It was a very inspiring experience for our choir to have the opportunity to perform alongside these very accomplished members of the local music community.
Last, but not least, the Sunday Choir welcomed three new members in 2017: Ralph, Claire, and Shirley. Their presence, personalities, and voices have been such a welcome addition to the offering our dedicated Sunday Choir makes each and every week.
As we move into 2018, I look forward to continuing the momentum of 2017. It is my hope that through the Anthem Choir we will be able to connect with additional guest soloists and instrumentalists.
This coming summer, we are planning to offer a series of guest music lead services (Taize, Celtic vespers, jazz vespers, etc) and I am looking forward to the joy and challenge of organizing these and creating more community connections through music at JBUC.
Respectfully submitted, Daniel Brandes, JBUC Music Director